Reclaiming Political Urbanism in Peace Building Processes: The Hands-on Famagusta project, Cyprus


  • Socrates Stratis University of Cyprus
  • Emre Akbil Eastern Mediterranean University



This case study is about reclaiming a political form of urbanism before the potential Cyprus reunification by enhancing, through the Hands-on Famagusta project, ‘agonistic’ collective practices across the Cypriot divide.

Author Biographies

Socrates Stratis, University of Cyprus

Socrates Stratis ( is Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus. He has a Doctorate Degree in Urban Studies-Planning, University of Paris 8 and  Bachelor and Master Degrees of Architecture (Urban Design) from Cornell University. Socrates’s research focuses on the political role of architecture in uncertain, and also contested contemporary urban environments. His is one of the main founders of the agency AA&U, ( and part of the Imaginary Famagusta team He is the editor of the Guide to Common Urban Imaginaries in Contested Spaces, (Berlin: Jovis, 2016). He curated the Cyprus pavilion at the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Emre Akbil, Eastern Mediterranean University

Emre Akbil is an architect based in Nicosia Cyprus, Lecturer and PhD. Candidate at Eastern Mediterranean University, Department of Architecture, Famagusta. He is part of Imaginary Famagusta (IF) Initiative focusing on roles of urbanism and architecture on reconciliation processes in Cyprus contributing to Hands-On Famagusta project as well as the Cyprus Pavilion in 15th Architecture Biennial of Venice named Contested Fronts. He won several awards for architectural projects. His works focus on bridging the gap between theory and practice revealing the empowering nature of the practice of architecture through enquiries on power, body, politics and subjectivity.


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